22 July 2009

More Blackstone silliness!

I have to admit to musing on the fact that using Blackstone as US Constitutional authority leads to some very wrong results: especially for Catholics.

One needs to remember that the Test Acts, as well as anti-Catholic sentiment, were still going strong in Britain and the United States during the Revolutionary and Constitutional drafting periods. One of the Test Acts is titled An Act for preventing Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants', Charles II, 1672, Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 782-85

Get the picture?

As I mentioned in my previous post, John Jay, the first chief justice of the US Supreme Court urged the New York Legislature to require office-holders to renounce foreign authorities "in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil." That means you mackeral snappers need to renounce popery and put your true allegiance in the US Constitution.

Love it or burn at the stake.

I believe they were still chopping off heads and sticking them on poles as punishment for treason in Britain around this time. I am not sure about hanging, drawing, and quartering. Whatever the state of capital punishment at the time, the English Criminal law at the time of the adoption of the constitution was called the Bloody Code because a large number of crimes were punishable by execution. Transportation to the North American colonies, which went on to become the United States, and Australia after US independence, was a frequent alternative to the death penalty.

One reason we need a space program is so that we can shoot criminals into space.

It is a melancholy truth, that among the variety of actions which men are daily liable to commit, no less than an hundred and sixty have been declared by Act of Parliament to be felonious without benefit of clergy; or, in other words, to be worthy of instant death — William Blackstone

I predict that Scalia's last opinion be that by using Blackstone as an authority and no less than the words of the First US Chief Justice, the Article VI language that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States" is unconstitutional.

Scalia would then order that all US Catholics would be burned at the Stake on the Captiol Mall on the Fourth of July.

I mean wouldn't that be original intent?

(Note: I should write for the Onion: Scalia writes opinion advocating burning Catholics at the Stake